Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bill Kristol tries to blame Romney and Obama equally

By Michael J.W. Stickings 

Even Bill Kristol... yes, even Krazy Bill Kristol... found Romney's comments at the fundraiser in Boca Raton in May about the 47% "arrogant and stupid." I'd say that's an understatement, but we let's take what we can get from the guy:

It's worth recalling that a good chunk of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes are Romney supporters -- especially of course seniors (who might well "believe they are entitled to heath care," a position Romney agrees with), as well as many lower-income Americans (including men and women serving in the military) who think conservative policies are better for the country even if they're not getting a tax cut under the Romney plan. So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.

The problem is, the rest of his post is complete bullshit.

Among other things, he tries to equate Romney's comments to Obama's during the Democratic primaries four years ago:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Not the same. Not at all. Then, Obama was making a psycho-sociological observation about voting behavior. A lot of people throughout the country, many in small towns, are suffering. The economy, and indeed the world generally, has left them behind. There are no jobs and there is little hope -- and they're bitter. And when people are bitter, they seek either to lash out (guns, bigotry) and/or to seek comfort in the spiritual (religion) and/or to embrace xenophobic, protectionist right-wing politics. Is this really a revelation? Kristol may not agree, but this is a pretty common observation. And it's right.

Obama didn't speak with contempt, he spoke with understanding, and with compassion. To say that his comments were contemptuous is to misunderstand who he is and what he stands for -- which is anything but divisiveness born of snobbish entitlement.

Romney, by contrast, spoke with utter disdain for a huge percentage of the American people, getting most of it disgustingly wrong and coming across as -- because it's who he is -- as a smug plutocrat who doesn't give a shit about most of the people he seeks to govern, Republicans and Democrats alike, including the poor, the elderly, and America's men and women in uniform. Shame on these people for wanting food and shelter and health care (does he not remember Romneycare? does he not want to?). The real Americans, his Americans, are those who can attend $50,000-a-plate fundraisers, who make fortunes destroying jobs and ruining lives and send their fortunes off to tax shelters in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

I wrote recently that the new Romney narrative is "unqualified, unprepared, unfit for the presidency," but this takes us back to the old one: "privileged rich douchebag with a plutocratic sense of entitlement."

Sorry, Bill, but that's the opposite of President Obama.

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